Constructing or buying a new property is a significant financial and emotional investment. It is where you expect to feel safe and secure, and it should provide you with peace of mind.
However, construction defects can quickly turn your dream home into a nightmare and compromise the safety and livability of your property. Fortunately, you can mitigate or recoup your losses by filing a claim against the contractor or builder responsible for the defect. Here is what you need to do.
Determine if you have a valid claim
You must have a valid legal claim to file a construction defect claim in Washington. Typically, this means there must be a defect in the construction of your property caused by negligence or breach of contract by the builder or contractor.
Examples of common construction defects include foundation issues, water intrusion and defective electrical or plumbing systems.
Review your construction contract
Go through the construction contract carefully to determine what warranties and guarantees were made by the builder or contractor. If you find any discrepancies or failures to meet the terms of the contract, document them by taking photos of any defects and keeping a detailed log of all damages or repairs that have been made.
Documentation is key to proving your claim, so it is essential to be thorough and organized.
Notify the builder or contractor
Before filing a construction defect claim, you must notify the builder or contractor responsible for the defect. Washington law requires you to inform them 45 days before filing the claim.
The notification should be in writing and include a detailed description of the defect and a request for a remedy or repair. The builder or contractor then has an opportunity to address the issue or offer a settlement.
Get the necessary help
If the builder or contractor fails to address the defect or offer a satisfactory settlement, you may need to escalate the matter. At this point, it is prudent to seek legal guidance to help you understand your options and the steps to take to hold the responsible party accountable.